OBJECTIVE: To reveal the involvement of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3R) and ryanodine receptors (RyR) in IL-6 prevention from neuronal apoptosis and necrosis induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA).
METHODS: Cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) from 8-day-old rats were exposed to IL-6 for 8 days and then stimulated with NMDA for 30 min. The 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) and dantrolene (DAN) were used to antagonize IP3R and RyR, respectively. Anti-gp130 monoclonal antibody (mAb) was employed to neutralize gp130, a 130-kDa signal-transducing β-subunit of IL-6 receptor complex. Neuronal apoptosis and necrosis were determined by TUNEL, fluorometric caspase-3 enzyme activity, annexin V-FITC/PI staining and ELISA. Western blot and real-time PCR measured IP3R1 and RyR2 expression, respectively.
RESULTS: IL-6 prevented the elevation of TUNEL-positive cells and caspase-3 expression and activity, and also suppressed the increase in annexin V-FITC/PI-positive cells and DNA- and histone-associated nucleosomes in cultured CGNs evoked by NMDA. These anti-apoptotic and anti-necrotic effects of IL-6 were larger on DAN-treated cells than on 2-APB-exposed neurons, since 2-APB treatment alone significantly inhibited the neuronal apoptosis and necrosis but DAN exposure alone did not alter the apoptosis and necrosis induced by NMDA. In support of these results, IL-6 downregulated IP3R1 but did not affect RyR2 expression. All these IL-6 effects were blocked by anti-gp130 mAb.
CONCLUSION: IL-6 prevention from NMDA-triggered Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release-mediated apoptosis and necrosis in CGNs depends on the inhibition of IP3R channel opening and expression rather than on RyR activity. IL-6 receptor-coupled gp130 signaling mediates this neuroprotection of IL-6 resistance to neuronal apoptosis and necrosis.